Last year brought us Walter Salles' On The Road, adapted from Jack Kerouac's beat classic. Now director Michael Polish has picked up the story some years later, with his own film of Kerouac's 1962 novel Big Sur. Following a trailer for the Sundance festival in January, here's second promo for the film's upcoming US release.
On The Road was written by Kerouac many years after the events it described, and as the trailer indicates, Big Sur deals with that book's aftermath. Kerouac found himself a literary sensation, based on the persona of a much younger man. Struggling with mental exhaustion and alcoholism, both exacerbated by the pressure of his unexpected success, he accepted an offer from his friend and fellow poet Lawrence Felinghetti to hide out in a cabin at Bixby Canyon, Big Sur, which he did on three occasions.
At first he enjoyed the solitude, but he also kept getting drawn back to San Francisco by Neal Cassidy and others. Troublesome romantic entanglements ensued, and Kerouac found himself on course for a nervous breakdown. Big Sur turned out not to be the idyllic answer it promised.
As usual, the names are changed in the book, giving what's essentially a memoir the guise of a novel. The film has no such qualms however. Jean-Marc Barr plays Kerouac, with Josh Lucas as Cassidy, Anthony Edwards as Ferlinghetti, Radha Mitchell as Carolyn Cassidy, Kate Bosworth as Cassidy's mistress Willamine Dabney and Balthazar Getty as Michael McClure.
Big Sur is out in the US on November 1. There's no UK release date yet, but the book is published here by Penguin.
The not-unrelated Kill Your Darlings, which features Jack Huston as Kerouac and Daniel Radcliffe as Allen Ginsberg (who's in the book of Big Sur but hasn't made it to the film) is out on November 8.